Wikipedia traffic and health

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Pete Forsyth (Wiki Strategies) and Lane Rasberry (Consumer Reports) present on the value of Wikipedia as an outreach tool in health communication. Follow on Twitter: @PeteForsyth @LaneRasberry. Originally presented to Lisa Gualtieri's class, Digital Strategies for Health Communication, at the Tufts University School of Medicine, 2013. #TUSM

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Wikipedia traffic and health

  1. 1. Who is going to Wikipedia for health information? Pete Forsyth Principal, Wiki Strategies pete@wikistrategies.net W User:Peteforsyth Lane Rasberry Wikipedian in Residence, Consumer Reports lrasberry@consumer.org W User:Bluerasberry
  2. 2. Where did Wikipedia come from? ● Wiki software invented in 1990s ● Wikipedia founded in 2001, as experiment ● Hundreds of thousands of volunteers, inspired by a shared vision: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
  3. 3. Why is Wikipedia important? ● Fifth most visited web property worldwide ● Rare among the top 100 sites: ○ volunteer-driven project (only other - archive.org) ○ non-profit (only others - archive.org and BBC) ● Most widely read publication in history (?) ● Sophisticated decision-making model ● Anyone may participate
  4. 4. How does it work? Wikipedia's principal software functions:
  5. 5. How can organizations engage with Wikipedia? ● With a clearly expressed dedication to Wikipedia's values, policies, and norms ● Transparently ● With an open mind and a giving spirit
  6. 6. What organizations have benefited from Wikipedia-related projects? ● Museums, libraries, archives: updating practices and reaching new audiences ● Philanthropic foundations: improving coverage of topics related to program areas ● Academic and professional societies: fulfilling responsibilities to their disciplines ● For-profit companies: improving accuracy and breadth of their own coverage*
  7. 7. Why are people going to Google for health information?
  8. 8. Does Google matter? Does online media matter? Alexa Rank (readership) & revenue for 2011- 12: 1. Facebook 2. Google 6. Wikipedia 10. Twitter $5,100 million 50,180 million 28 million 350 million
  9. 9. You can check any article's traffic! 1. Click "View history"! 1.
  10. 10. 2. Click "page view statistics"! 2.
  11. 11. Does this monthly traffic mean anything to you? 130k, June 2013
  12. 12. Who is responsible for ensuring that Google's health results are accurate and useful? Google? The government? Health organizations? Volunteers? No one?
  13. 13. My offer to you Who wants to communicate through the top Google results, for free, right now with 15 minutes of work?
  14. 14. The catch - Wikipedia has its own rules: ● Wikipedia is an encyclopedia ● It is written from a neutral point of view ● It offers free content that anyone can use, edit, modify, or redistribute ● Editors should treat each other with respect and civility. ● There are no firm rules.
  15. 15. My advice to organizations - 1. No advertising 2. Citations for every statement 3. Respond to feedback 4. Join the community
  16. 16. Are you still with me? Then consider your community! ● Wikiprojects ● established editors ● personal online training ● better human response to questions than any bank ● cool people
  17. 17. Let's tour the health community! Wikipedia has 23,000 health articles. 2,000 have been evaluated as rather good. All need work.
  18. 18. Volunteers meet and do things! type WP:MED into Wikipedia's search box
  19. 19. Is Wikipedia a popular source of health information?
  20. 20. To what extent is health content development like anything else? Some services like the Teahouse and other training support is for everyone. Some things, like guidelines on "Reliable sources for medicine", are specific. Type WP:TEAHOUSE or WP: MEDRS into search
  21. 21. Example project - Choosing Wisely ● Organizations which want to do health education consider Wikipedia ● What were the costs and benefits? ● What could and could not be done?
  22. 22. How is it that someone comes to access the Wikipedia article on electrocardiogram? One theory - went to Google and misspelled "Bieber"
  23. 23. Choosing Wisely impact through Wikipedia - Three month impact and beyond - ● 60 articles received Choosing Wisely content ● Traffic to those articles - 11 million ● complaints - several had to be addressed! ● no fame, no self-promotion - what do readers really want? ● content was stable at 3 months ● at six month check, all content remained and traffic went up
  24. 24. Consider this class's collaboration! ● Is your goal to share health info? ● Is your goal to promote the org? ● To what extent are these goals exclusive? ● What are your options? Who is your audience?
  25. 25. When should you make a decision about responding to Wikipedia? Wikipedia might be a fad! Text on the Internet may go obsolete!
  26. 26. What options do you have? Any of these! ● Begin to consider Wikipedia traffic ● Look at article traffic on Wikipedia ● Share sources on Wikipedia talk pages ● Consider whether any Wikipedia article matters during outreach campaigns ● Convince other people, like students, to edit Wikipedia ● You are welcome to edit anything yourself!
  27. 27. Why are people going to Wikipedia for health information? Pete Forsyth Principal, Wiki Strategies pete@wikistrategies.net W User:Peteforsyth Lane Rasberry Wikipedian in Residence, Consumer Reports lrasberry@consumer.org W User:Bluerasberry

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